March 24 news

WORTHINGTON – Dr. Barbara McDonald, who will take over as the Interim President at Minnesota West Community and Technical College, will visit the Worthington Campus today from 12:30 to 1:30 to be presented to the faculty, students and the public. The presentation will be in room 122 at the college. McDonald has served at Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids since 2000. She presently serves as provost, a role she has held since 2013.

McDonald will serve a one year appointment from July 1 until June 30, 2015. She succeeds Dr. Richard Shrubb, who has served as president since 2008 and has announced his intention to retire. A national search will be conducted to find a permanent replacement.

WORTHINGTON – Now in its ninth year, “Gone Country” will have two shows Saturday — at 2 and 7:30 p.m. — at Memorial Auditorium. For the evening show, doors will open at 6 p.m. and feature music from Tommy Binford, hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. All tickets are reserved seating; there is a small discount for tickets purchased in advance. Tickets are also available at the door before each performance. For more information, call 376-9101.

WORTHINGTON – Worthington City Attorney Mark Shepherd has been notified by a bank in Minneapolis that they have no interest in the land that formerly housed the outdoor swimming pool. That land, owned by the E.O. Olson Trust, is at the top of the list of potential library sites. The trust is managed by the First State Bank of Minneapolis.

Before the decision to move forward with building a library is made, voters will get a chance to chime in. The city charter requires a referendum to alter using the land as anything but a park site. It could be put to a vote as soon as the November ballot.

SLAYTON - Murray County has contracted with Emergency Communications Network to license its CodeRED high-speed notification solution to deliver emergency messages to local residents and businesses.

All individuals and businesses are encouraged to log onto Murray County’s website at www.murray-countymn.com and follow the link to the CodeRED Community Notification Enrollment page.

Those without internet access may call the Murray County Emergency Management Director James Reinert at 507-836-1169, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to supply their information over the phone. Required information includes first and last name, street address, city and primary phone number, additional phone numbers can be entered as well. Email and text messaging is optional but encouraged.

This system is capable of providing emergency notification by phone call, email, or text message. Examples of notifications are “Tornado Warnings”, “Shelter in Place Information” or “Utility Interruptions” like a water main break or when electrical service may experience an extended interruption. The data collected will only be used for emergency notification purposes.

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa - Fire damaged an apartment in the Arapaho Apartment complex in Spirit Lake Sunday morning. Spirit Lake firefighters were called to the complex at 2102 Jackson Avenue shortly after 7 a.m. Upon arriving, Fire Chief Pat Daly says firefighters found a fire burning in a living room and heavy smoke in apartment seven, a second floor unit. Daly says firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and ventilated the apartment.

A neighbor had alerted the occupant and attempted to extinguish the fire with a fire extinguisher prior to the arrival of firefighters.

Two residents were evaluated on the scene by paramedics with paramedics with the Lakes Regional Healthcare ambulance. No other injuries were reported.

Officials say most of the damage was confined to the one apartment, and that the cause was accidental in nature.

MARSHALL - Marshall's Kmart will be closing this summer, as part of larger series of cost-saving actions being taken by Sears Holdings, a corporate spokesperson said Friday.

Howard Riefs, director of corporate communications at Sears Holdings, confirmed in an e-mail that the Marshall Kmart store would close in mid-July. A liquidation sale will begin April 27, he said. The closure of the Kmart in Marshall will affect 57 employees, most working in part time or hourly positions. Riefs said eligible employees will receive severance and have an opportunity to apply for positions at area Sears or Kmart stores.

MINNESOTA - Coon Rapids-based Parkers Farm Acquisition is recalling some of its peanut butter, cheese, salsa and spreads after authorities discovered some products contained Listeria.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture says there have been no reports of illness, but Parkers Farm Acquisition is cooperating with the investigation and has issued a voluntary recall of several products with various sell-by dates.

The products are distributed nationwide under the Parkers Farm, Parkers and Bucky Badger labels. These products were sold at several stores including Hy-Vee, Cub, Costco, Wal-Mart, and Brookshire stores.

A full list of recalled products can be found on the Minnesota agriculture department's website, www.mda.state.mn.us.

MINNESOTA - Winter fish kills are a normal process every spring, especially in shallow lakes, but this year it could be much worse.

The long, cold and snowy winter will likely increase the number of winter fish kills in Minnesota lakes, and the longer the snow and ice stays, the more fish are likely to die.

When snow and ice cover a lake, it limits the sunlight that reaches aquatic plants, which then cut back on the amount of oxygen produced. If the vegetation dies from lack of sunlight, the plants start to decompose, which uses oxygen dissolved in the water. If the oxygen depletion is severe enough, fish die, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says.

Certain fish need higher oxygen levels, so they are more prone to winterkill, but the DNR says fish like bullheads can tolerate lower levels of oxygen.

The DNR won’t know the extent of this year’s winterkill until the ice clears and they get reports of dead fish from lakeshore owners. Winterkills can be beneficial for fishing – a blank slate can produce a lot of game fish, the DNR said, but a strong kill can also make for pointless fishing the following year. The DNR will assess the lakes and determine if they should be restocked or let natural reproduction occur.

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Fish kill

When I was younger, i find fish kill scary. Then I realized the natural causes of it. That's nature. -Steven Wyer

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